Unfavorable Conditions in the Hanau Jewelry Market
Hanau is one of the great German centers for the manufacture of fine jewelry and perhaps the greatest for the manufacture of jewelers' novelties. The industry in general has had a bad year, according to a report from Consul F. T. F. Dumont, at Frankfort-on-Main, although a number of manufacturers had exhibits at the Seventh International Fair at Frankfort, October 8-14, few orders were taken. It is stated by the trade in general that the demand for goods of all kinds has to do with what is fashionable rather than with that which is valuable or artistic. No orders of any consequence are being received for the latter, buyers taking only sufficient for immediate needs. The difficulties experienced by manufacturers in obtaining sufficient platinum and gold have turned them to the extensive use of silver and platinum-plated silver in the making of articles of personal adornment and for purposes of utility.
Brooches, pendants and belts of silver in wrought work or encrusted with semiprecious stones are very popular as well as enameled brooches and pendants set in silver. There is still a demand for ivory in quantities in the form of carved roses, pendants and chains. There is also a demand for "art" chains composed of glass beads of various sizes and colors and for fine silver chains with beads and semiprecious stones grouped or spaced. Arm bracelets of galatite are selling fairly well. The latest novelty in bracelets, called the "shimmy," although angled, is said to fit the arm comfortably. Onyx earrings in long drop or ring form, with perhaps a crystal bead attached, are offered. The demand for imitation pearl necklaces is reviving as well as for the French style of pendants with marcasite, baroque pearls, and carved work, attached to small silver neck chains. Marquise rings with marcasite and large semi-precious stones in a thin silver setting are noticed among the displays of the products of the Hanau shops at the present time.
In art jewelry, flat bits of carved ivory of oval or angled form are sold as pendants or brooches and also colored agates and semi-precious stones with silver embellishments. Of greater popularity is handmade silver jewelry, with or without semiprecious stones, in the form of brooches, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. There are also odd bits of corroded and etched brass in the same forms as well as molten glass set in metal as pendants. Ceramics, majolica and other clays are shown in brooches, pendants and buttons. For men, sleeve links are in great demand, and besides the usual mother-of-pearl buttons set in silver, semi-precious stones of cabochon cut are used. "Platinoid" in fine links is used instead of chains of gold and silver and for chatelaines as well. Fobs for men are made of silk cord with small :tassels in -white or black. There is to. be seen excellent work in ivory, such as dancers in various costumes and positions, and Japanese landscapes framed in real ebony, the latter intended for the export trade.
Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 13th December 1922